Chicago Revenue Inspector Sentenced to 12 Months Probation for Extortion
CHICAGO—A former Revenue Inspector for the City of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Amy St. Eve to 12 months’ probation as a result of his conviction of extortion under color of official right. ELIAS GARZA, 55, of Chicago pled guilty in February 2011 to a one-count information, admitting that while employed as a Revenue Inspector in 2009, he received money from a confidential source and an individual who controlled stores in Chicago that sold cigarettes. Garza would, in return, provide advanced notification of upcoming City inspections of those stores that were designed to ensure proper payment of taxes on cigarettes. Defendant Garza admitted that in May 2009, he accepted $500 from the confidential source in return for providing information about upcoming inspections of Individual A’s stores, and that in September 2009, Garza accepted another $300 in return for his promise to alert them of upcoming inspections.
According to his plea agreement, Garza cooperated with the United States Attorney’s Office and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in their ongoing investigations of public corruption.
The sentencing was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Joseph Ferguson, City of Chicago Inspector General.
The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Getter.